Farming

| 16.4°C Dublin

Checklist: 10 steps to better bales

Close

File photo

File photo

File photo

Follow these steps to ensure better bales this season.

  1. Avoid cutting grass too low as mowers will pick up soil. This could lead to Listeriosis in the silage and subsequent animal health problems.
  2. A fast wilt (one night on the ground), where practical, will minimise rain damage and the risk of microbial development in the forage.
  3. To achieve a fast wilt, spread grass thinly on the ground as soon as possible after mowing. Prompt tedding is recommended.
  4. Using a chopper baler will reduce the number/cost of bales per acre. This will also speed up the baling operation.
  5. Using a quality brand of film wrap or net wrap will enable heavy bales to retain their shape and make for easier and quicker wrapping.
  6. Heavy wet bales need extra film (two more layers). This adds around 10pc to the overall silage costs, but will certainly pay dividends when it comes to quality of silage.
  7. Use a strong and tacky bale wrap film to wrap heavy wet bales - otherwise effluent may leak out or bales could split.
  8. Try to have a full tank of silage ahead of the baler. This will lead to a square shouldered bale that will keep its shape better.
  9. Do not stack heavy or wet bales more than two high, otherwise they lose shape and could burst. Protect bales from bird, small animal and vermin damage.
  10. Any damaged bale wrap film should be repaired promptly using suitable silage patches. These bales should be used before any clamp silage is opened.

Indo Farming